ISLAMABAD: Former Afghan prime minister and Hizb-e-Islami’s chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has said his movement is ready to send thousands of fighters to Saudi Arabia to counter “Iran’s interference in Yemen.”
Hizb-e-Islami is seen as the second largest resistance group that is fighting foreign troops in Afghanistan. “If there is a possibility, thousands of Mujahedin will be ready to go to Saudi Arabia to frustrate the Iranian sinister designs in Yemen,” Hekmatyar said in a Pashto-language statement.
The group’s spokesman, Haroon Zarghoon, read out the statement by telephone from an undisclosed location. Hekmatyar accused Iran of “creating the current unrest in Yemen” and said his movement fully supports the position of Saudi Arabia and Arab countries to prevent Iran's interference in Yemen.
“Iran had earlier interfered in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon and has now started interfering in Yemen. Afghans condemn Iran's policy in Yemen,” he said.
Whereabouts of Hekmatyar are unknown; however, he routinely issues video messages and responds to journalists’ queries.
The former Afghan prime minister urged Muslim nations to unite against Iran and prevent it from “weakening the Muslim Ummah.” Taliban have not commented on the ongoing crisis in the Middle East despite having close relations with Saudi Arabia.
President Ashraf Ghani has announced support to Saudi Arabia-led military action against the Houthis in Yemen, and the presidential palace says it is an Islamic duty of every Muslim to protect the territorial integrity of the two holy mosques.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2015.